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How important is a quantitative background ?

#1 How important is a quantitative background ?
14/10/2004 15:00


Hi to all!

I am a Law student in Holland and have a Bachelor of Law in Financial Law,Bachelor of Law in Tax Law and I am at the moment finishing my two Masters in Financial and Tax law.Although I do have some experience with case studies and economic matters, I don't have any quantitative skills learned whatsoever.I did some internships with major (tax) law firms but consultancy is much more my cup of tea.So my question is: After finishing my masters in law would it be smart to do some extra quantitative subjects (maths and statistics,econometrics)? Or should I stick with these degrees and give it a shot?.The top strategy firms do hire people from any background but I just want to know how important these quantitative skills will be when you are working in the consultancy business.Do you actually need them or is it the acquired analytical thinking derived from these skills that you need.Please help me with this matter!Thanks!!

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#2 Re: How important is a quantitative background ?
15/10/2004 00:30


Not that important to get in but critical to survive. Most analysis as a junior consultant will be based around numbers and so you will have to get pretty damn good at it. However if you are able to pick up statistical methods, financial calculations etc as you go along, you will be just fine. If you stumble then contrary to your view, consultancy will never be your cup of tea. You can't just use built in functions in Excel - you need to understand what they mean. Also, your mental maths skills should be razor sharp. Nothing complicated, but you must be able to do fractions and percentages and multiples etc etc without a calculator and it should be second nature. Good luck.

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#3 Re: How important is a quantitative background ?
15/10/2004 02:33


This is some very useful information thank you! I will seriously consider after I finish my masters in law to pursue a bachelor in econometrics to fill the gap.I have been to the econometrics department and they said that I can get my bachelor/master degree in three years from now so we will see.My mental math skills were quite good in high school but I never used them again since graduating from high school so am I asking for trouble?

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#4 Re: How important is a quantitative background ?
15/10/2004 12:08


Hi, I think there is not need to get overeducated and overspend money on it. Personally I would not consider an applicant with 10-12 year postgraduate studies. This would basically mean you are not good enough to continually grow in one either area. If you think “your cup of tea” is consulting, you'd better stick to those legal areas, which are popular in big consulting firms. So if you look at international taxation from tax point of view, that is just what is needed for accounting or auditing firms, but if you make it with focus on minimisation of tax calculation procedures, optimisation of taxes through offshore companies etc., this would be very valuable to investment bankers or consultancies. Whatever maths degree you would present, you would not be in the same peer as pure mathematicians, so better do not waste time on degrees but rather think how to sell your current skill to "your cup of tea". Good luck

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